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Liberty Falls on OT Penalty Kick
A penalty kick by Adam Brundle in overtime pushed the visiting Winthrop Eagles past the Liberty Flames, 1-0, Saturday afternoon in a Big South men's soccer match at Osborne Stadium.
Liberty falls to 2-3-1 in conference action and 7-5-1 overall. Winthrop moves to 2-3 in Big South play and 5-9 overall. It is the Eagles' first win in Lynchburg since 1994.
Before the game-winner, the Flames had not allowed a goal in 449:48 of play. In addition, Liberty had not allowed a goal at Osborne Stadium in 475:39. The Flames had not allowed a goal at home since Longwood scored with two seconds remaining in a 3-1 Liberty victory on Aug. 30.
After a shot by Winthrop forward Marc Segarra during the 16th minute was stopped by Flames goalkeeper Scott Sutarik, pressing defense by Liberty's midfielders put the Flames on the attack, as over the next 16 minutes of play, Liberty fired six unanswered shots.
The flurry of attempts began after a free kick a yard outside the right corner of the 18-yard box during the 21st minute. Off the kick, forward Darren Amoo lifted a shot which was blocked down in front by a defender.
In the 25th minute, forward Timothy Bullock drew two Eagle defenders to him and dropped a pass into the left corner of the penalty area for midfielder Phillip Aseweh. However, his shot was stopped by Eagle goalkeeper Enrique Miranda.
Amoo forced another diving stop by Miranda during the 32nd minute. Pouncing on a deflected pass by Aseweh off a defender, the forward ripped a shot, which the Eagle clear away.
In the 40th minute, Segarra lined a shot from the left side of the 18-yard box at tough angle towards the far post, which Sutarik dived out to snatch out of the air, preventing a score.
The period closed with no score, as the Flames were turned away on a scoring opportunity during the 44th minute. Once again, Bullock dropped a pass to the left side of the 18-yard box for Aseweh, who punched a shot towards an open Winthrop net. With Miranda out of the net, defender Grady Trimble was able to recover and clear the ball off the goal line to keep Liberty off the scoreboard and send the game to halftime scoreless.
The Eagles got off the first two shots of the second half. After an attempt by Nick Kowalski sailed high over the net in the 57th minute, a shot by Alex Bolton was stopped by Sutarik during the 62nd minute.
In the 65th minute, midfielder Zack Clark launched a low liner from the top of the 18-yard box, which Miranda was able to corral for a save.
After the shot, Liberty did not allow the Eagles to clear their zone. The pressure defense resulted in a free kick for the Flames 20-yards out at center field during the 69th minute. Clark lifted his kick towards the right post, causing a Winthrop defender to push the ball off his goal to prevent a score. The loose ball deflected off several players in the box and came free for Aseweh on the right side. The midfielder sent a low shot, which was blocked by an Eagle defender and cleared, ending the Liberty attack.
In the 79th minute, Sutarik stopped a shot from Winthrop's Andre Pullin friom just outside the box, while a header by Liberty defender Chris Phillips off a corner kick popped high over the net in the 88th minute.
With time running out in regulation, Eagle forward Akeem Matthews moved past two Liberty defenders and found room for a shot, which he lined to the left of the goal, sending the contest to overtime.
Aseweh opened the extra session by taking a pass on the left side of the box, beating a defender and lining a shot during the 92nd minute, which Miranda had to extend his arms to save.
Matthews countered with a shot for the Eagles from 25-yards out, which was high over the goal during the 94th minute.
In the 96th minute, Brundle got tangled up with a Liberty defender and was pulled down in the box for a foul. Brundle converted the ensuing penalty for his second goal of the year and the Winthrop victory.
Liberty outshot Winthrop, 17-10, and held the edge in corner kicks, 3-0.
Sutarik made five saves, playing the entire contest in the Liberty net. Miranda recorded five saves also, while the Eagles made two team saves.
Liberty returns to the road, Tuesday. The Flames will travel to Buies Creek, N.C., for a Big South match with the Campbell Camels. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.